The Plummer arrived just in time.
Nick Plummer went from anonymous reserve outfielder to a player who had a Mets moment Sunday night, helping his team emerge from the raw sewage of a blown save by Adam Ottavino to celebrate a wild win.
Plummer tied the game with a mighty swing in the ninth and Eduardo Escobar’s 10th-inning double sent the Mets to a 5-4 victory and three-game sweep of the Phillies at Citi Field. The sweep was the Mets’ first this season.
“Pretty surreal,” said Plummer, whose 112-mph missile off the bat to the porch in right field against Corey Knebel leading off the ninth had a tinge of “Can you believe this?” attached to it.
The homer was Plummer’s first major league hit. It came on the 10th anniversary of the last Mets player blasting a homer for his first major league hit (also against the Phillies). Congrats if you guessed current Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner as the player who hit that home run.
Plummer, 25, was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday and thrust into left field a night later for his first major league start.
“Just coming over here and helping the team win, you can’t ask for much more than that,” said Plummer, who was signed as a minor-league free agent in the offseason.
In the 10th inning, Francisco Lindor struck out leading off against Knebel and Pete Alonso was intentionally walked before Escobar stroked a line drive to the right field that scored automatic runner Starling Marte.
“Three times today they walked Pete Alonso and faced me,” said Escobar, who finished 1-for-5 with two RBIs. “Baseball gives you an opportunity all the time. One swing changed everything and made my day.”
Escobar also leaned over the dugout railing to snatch Kyle Schwarber’s pop up leading off the 10th inning.
“Nobody pushes harder than [Escobar] does,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s got so much ‘want to’ that sometimes it gets in the way. He’s got a good track record that we’re going to trust and he’s as good a professional as you can want on a club.”
The Mets improved to 9-3 against the Phillies this season. In a scheduling quirk, the NL East foes have already played four series, but the Mets still haven’t faced the Marlins. The final two series of the regular season between the Mets and Phillies are scheduled for August.
The Mets (32-17) have arrived at Memorial Day — a traditional marker in the marathon of a baseball season — leading the NL East by 8 ½ games. It’s the biggest division lead in MLB.
“I feel like how we’ve played together, we have stuck together, it’s just been remarkable,” Alonso said. “We have a lot of high-quality, character guys in this clubhouse and we have just been pulling in the same direction. If you have that and also you have guys playing well defensively, running the bases and hitting and pitching well, that becomes the end product.”
Ottavino surrendered a three-run blast in the eighth to Nick Castellanos that gave the Phillies a 4-3 lead. Joely Rodriguez allowed two hits in the inning, but aced his toughest test, retiring Bryce Harper for the second out. Ottavino entered and got two quick strikes on Castellanos before leaving a 96-mph fastball over the plate that disappeared behind the left-field fence.
Chris Bassitt allowed one earned run on two hits over six innings with seven strikeouts and three walks in burying the memory of his worst performance in a Mets uniform, in San Francisco last week (when he allowed eight earned runs over 4 ¹/₃ innings while battling a sinus infection).
Bassitt retired the last 10 batters he faced in a seventh start this season in which he lasted at least six innings.
He survived a 34-pitch third inning in which he walked three batters, but allowed only one run. Odubel Herrera hit a fly to left that Plummer misplayed into a double leading off the inning before Bassitt walked Johan Camargo and Schwarber to load the bases. Alec Bohm hit into a double play, bringing in the run, and after Harper walked, Castellanos struck out.
“Once you get through that inning, you are like, ‘OK, I am good to go,’ ” Bassitt said.
The Mets took advantage of the Phillies’ shoddy defense in grabbing a 3-0 lead against Zack Wheeler in the first inning. After Luis Guillorme’s leadoff double and Marte’s ensuing single put runners on the corners, Lindor hit a grounder to first that Rhys Hoskins attempted to turn into a force out at second. But with Guillorme running from third, the shortstop Camargo hurried and never stepped on second base before throwing home. After Alonso singled, the Mets got two additional runs without the ball leaving the infield, on grounders from Escobar and Mark Canha.